Dave Ramsey: The Total Money Makeover

Bob and I recently paid off our student loans, making us debt free! Totally and completely debt free. We were so excited when we hit “submit” on our last payment, and we’re still reveling in our newfound financial freedom. How were we able to accomplish it so quickly? In a nutshell: Dave Ramsey. His plan gave us exactly what we needed to get on the same page and to work together toward a goal.

His The Total Money Makeover was recently re-published in a “Classic Edition.” Ramsey has sold over 4 million copies of the book, originally published in 2003.

Cover art

Ramsey’s advice is based on simple and smart financial management. Running on the bottom border of each page is “If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” In other words, planning, saving, and sacrificing today means your hard work will pay off later in life. You will have saved for rainy days, for vacations, for large purchases. You will have invested for retirement, so when you reach that phase of life, you will be prepared. He doesn’t make it complicated. Who wouldn’t want that?

Unfortunately, without a plan, it’s difficult for many of us to have that much foresight. Dave Ramsey’s baby steps offer a plan. They’re simple—pay off all of your debts (except your house), save an emergency fund, then start saving for retirement and your children’s college tuition. If you’re able to, pay off your house early. Tackle each step intensely, and then move to the next one.

Woven through the book are stories of individuals and families, many like you and me, who had debt, marital problems, and not enough money left at the end of the month. In these testimonies, people share how their marriages were saved through good communication, how they paid off debt with a little self-discipline, and how they regained control of their money and their life.

In the back of the book, you’ll find budget forms to help you on your way to your own Total Money Makeover. I challenge you to check out this book! I guarantee you won’t regret it.

October is here!

Three cheers, people-folk. I love October. I just do. Warm days, cool nights. The holidays are just around the corner. The sun shines. The leaves change colors. I can eat squash. And roast the seeds. What more could a girl ask for?

The cat may or may not have taken up residence. He knows where the good stuff’s at: my back porch. He’s gotten pretty prompt about arriving when food is served. Smart little kitty 🙂


Something new! I’m borrowing this idea from the ever-inspiring Never Niche, and making some goals for October. It’s a proven fact that if you set goals, give yourself a deadline, and write them down, then you are more likely to actually accomplish the goal (and do more cool stuff), than if you had not done any of the above. As such, here are the goals for October:

  • Running: speed session/hills once a week. One long run (of at least 5 miles) a week. 5K at the beginning of November to get ready for….
  • Buy 2 rolls of black and white film. Shoot them. Learn something.
  • Make yogurt from scratch.
  • Strength training:  4 times a week. 5 minutes each time. Just do it.
  • Attempt the climbing wall at the Y. If it’s challenging, buy a punch card for more climbs.
  • Backpacking/hiking in VA. Details about distance, etc. yet to be determined. Whatever happens though, it’s going to be awesome.
  • Swim once a week.
  • Make a savings plan. Determine long term and short term savings goals, and figure out the best way to invest each. Divide up savings acct accordingly. I’m going to check out Roth IRAs as well as Smarty Pig. Stay tuned. ***I am more than willing to take advice from more financially savvy people than I. Email me 🙂
  • Find and create 2 completely new-to-me dishes that I’ve never made before. I think butternut squash soup is one of those….

I wanna know: Do you make lists? Are you a goal-setter or do you take the zen approach and take life as it comes?